Plastic Packaging Tax

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The Plastic Packaging Tax: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

P Wilkinson Containers summarizes the change in regulation and addresses the most common concerns

As many of our customers have heard, from 1 April 2022 a new tax will be applied to any plastic packaging manufactured in (or imported into the UK), if it does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic.

Equally, there will be no additional tax applied to any plastic packaging which contains at least 30% recycled plastic, or which is not predominantly plastic.

At P. Wilkinsons, our customers are rightly asking what the direct impact will be on their accounts and orders, so we’ve created a roundup of the most frequently asked questions, and answered them as directly as possible:

As a P. Wilkinson Containers customer, what do I need to do?

Our customers will not need to take any direct action before or after 1 April 2022, as all taxes due will have been paid prior to the packaging being delivered.

Why is there a plastic tax now when there hasn’t been before?

The government states:

“The aim of the tax is to provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled plastic in the manufacture of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material. In turn this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.”

Does this tax directly impact my business and/or supply chain? 

This tax will affect all UK manufacturers of plastic packaging, importers of plastic packaging, and the business customers of manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging.

According to government, “The tax is expected to impact on an estimated 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging”.

Further down the supply chain, we might also expect consumers who buy plastic packaging (or goods in plastic packaging) in the UK to be indirectly impacted through the possibility of increased prices.

Can I avoid the UK tax by ordering plastic packaging from overseas?

Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax, whether the packaging is unfilled or filled.

Will I need to pay the plastic tax directly to the government?

Only the manufacturer (or importer) of plastic packaging needs to pay the tax directly (if they cross the current 10 tonne per year threshold), and only on packs that contain less than 30 per cent recycled material. Our customers do not need to pay any tax bill directly.

How much is the tax?

The tax has been set at £200 per tonne of plastic packaging if it does not contain at least 30 per cent post or pre consumer recycled content (PCR). For P. Wilkinson Containers customers: this tax will have already been paid prior to delivery, and no action is required as a result.

Can buckets, pots and bottles that contain recycled content (PCR) be used for food packaging?

Post or Pre consumer recycled content (PCR) can only be utilized for food use if made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP) which are mainly used for buckets, pots and some bottles, cannot be used for food if they contain recycled content. If you are unsure what material your items are made of, you will normally find it marked on the bottom of each item.

Can plastic products that contain recycled content (PCR) meet UN Approval for shipping hazardous items outside of the UK?

No, this is not possible because recycled material streams do not currently offer good enough traceability or consistency in quality. The latter can have an effect on the structural integrity.


More information

Please contact one of our team if you have any questions, or f visit the government website here:


To view our full product range, click the button below.

  • Adhesive Labels

  • Plastic Pots – Tamper Evident

  • Plastic Bottles (Jerrycan) – HDPE

  • Metal Slip Lid Tins

  • Metal 5L Beer Keg & Cider Mini Kegs

  • Plastic Bottles – PET

  • Metal Lever Lid Tins

  • Metal Pails

  • Metal Oblong Tins

  • Plastic Jars – PET

  • Plastic Drums – Open Top

  • Plastic Buckets – Round

  • Plastic Sporks

  • Metal Ring Pull Tins

  • Metal Vacuum Ink Tins

  • Metal Cone Top Tins

  • Plastic Drums – Tight Head

  • Metal Outside Curl Tins

  • Plastic Bottles – HDPE

  • Metal Drums

  • Plastic Buckets – Rectangular

  • Metal Rectangle Tins

  • Plastic Pots – Dressing

  • Plastic Pots – Deli

  • Metal Seamless Tins


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